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Les technologies de l’information et la productivité : situation actuelle et perspectives d’avenir

  • Oliner, Stephen D.

    (Federal Reserve Board)

  • Sichel, Daniel E.

    (Federal Reserve Board)

Productivity growth in the U.S. economy jumped during the second half of the 1990s, a resurgence that many analysts linked to information technology (IT). However, shortly after this consensus emerged, demand for IT products fell sharply, leading to a lively debate about the connection between IT and productivity and about the sustainability of the faster growth. We contribute to this debate in two ways. First, to assess the robustness of the earlier evidence, we extend the growth-accounting results in Oliner and Sichel (2000a) through 2001. The new results confirm the basic story in our earlier work – that the acceleration in labor productivity after 1995 was driven largely by the greater use of IT capital goods and by the more rapid efficiency gains in the production of IT goods. Second, to assess whether the pickup in productivity growth is sustainable, we analyze the steady-state properties of a multi-sector growth model. This exercise generates a range for labor productivity growth of 2 percent to 2 ¾ percent per year, which suggests that much – and possibly all – of the resurgence is sustainable. Dans la deuxième moitié des années quatre-vingt-dix, la croissance de la productivité de l’économie américaine a rebondi, un phénomène que nombre d’analystes ont attribué aux technologies de l’information. Cependant, peu de temps après que ce consensus se soit imposé, la demande pour les produits de technologies de l’information s’effondrait, relançant un vif débat sur le lien entre les technologies de l’information et la productivité, de même que sur la durabilité éventuelle d’une croissance aussi forte. Nous apportons notre contribution à ce débat de deux manières : premièrement, dans le but d’évaluer la robustesse de notre argumentation antérieure, nous prolongerons, jusqu’à la fin de 2001, notre analyse de la comptabilité de la croissance, dont nous avons déjà publié les résultats (Oliner et Sichel, 2000a). Les nouveaux résultats confirment les conclusions de nos travaux antérieurs : la croissance accélérée de la productivité du travail après 1995 découle principalement de l’usage croissant des biens d’équipement de type technologies de l’information et de gains d’efficacité accrus du côté de leur production ; deuxièmement, nous analyserons les propriétés de régime d’état stationnaire d’un modèle de croissance multisectoriel, afin de jauger la durabilité potentielle d’un tel regain de productivité. Nous en déduirons une fourchette de valeurs pour la croissance de la productivité du travail, se situant entre 2 % et 2 ¾ % par année, ce qui laisse présager que l’essentiel – sinon la totalité – de ce regain de vitalité pourrait être durable.

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Article provided by Société Canadienne de Science Economique in its journal L'Actualité économique.

Volume (Year): 81 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (Mars-Juin)
Pages: 339-400

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Handle: RePEc:ris:actuec:v:81:y:2005:i:1:p:339-400
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  1. Hulten, Charles R, 1978. "Growth Accounting with Intermediate Inputs," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 511-18, October.
  2. Stephen D. Oliner & Daniel E. Sichel, 2000. "The Resurgence of Growth in the Late 1990s: Is Information Technology the Story?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 3-22, Fall.
  3. Roberts John M., 2001. "Estimates of the Productivity Trend Using Time-Varying Parameter Techniques," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-32, July.
  4. Whelan, Karl, 2003. " A Two-Sector Approach to Modeling U.S. NIPA Data," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(4), pages 627-56, August.
  5. Kiley, Michael T., 2001. "Computers and growth with frictions: aggregate and disaggregate evidence," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 171-215, December.
  6. Robert J. Gordon, 2002. "Technology and Economic Performance in the American Economy," NBER Working Papers 8771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Ana Aizcorbe, 2002. "Why are semiconductor prices falling so fast? Industry estimates and implications for productivity measurement," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-20, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G. & Shapiro, Matthew D., 2001. "Productivity growth in the 1990s: technology, utilization, or adjustment?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 117-165, December.
  9. Charles Steindel & Kevin Stiroh, 2001. "Productivity: what is it and why do we care about it?," Staff Reports 122, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  10. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2000. "Beyond Computation: Information Technology, Organizational Transformation and Business Performance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 23-48, Fall.
  11. Ho, Mun & Jorgenson, Dale & Stiroh, Kevin, 2002. "Projecting Productivity Growth: Lessons from the U.S. Growth Resurgence," Discussion Papers dp-02-42, Resources For the Future.
  12. Daniel Aaronson & Daniel Sullivan, 2002. "Growth in worker quality," Chicago Fed Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Feb.
  13. Karl Whelan, 1999. "Tax incentives, material inputs, and the supply curve for capital equipment," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-21, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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